Posts from February 2012

Hot Oysters On The Radio, Musically Yours Recipe from Art of Living According to Joe Beef

Frederic Morin and David McMillan, co-owners and chefs of Joe Beef, a Montreal restaurant with a creative spririt and a sense of fun, could not box themselves into the 'recipes' only convention for their first book, The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Ten Speed Press, Fall 2011) written in collaboration with Meredith Erickson.

They share their take on catering, square plates, horseradish and fancy knives in A Few Theories.

Number 5 covers Hangovers: "Whenever someone in our business comes to work saying he or she is in "top shape", he or she is extremely hung over..."

On Fancy knives in Number 6 they recommend Dexter-Russell (carbon-steel blades, beech handles) as one of their favorites and describe them as "cheap, dependable and still made in America."

Chapter 7 'A Word on Booze' offers David McMillan completely subjective opinion on wine and cocktails and claims "I love red Burgundy wine so much I want to pour it into my eyes."

The book closes with 'Montreal in two days' followed by the Joe Beef Address Book.

As for the recipes, who but Joe Beef would have thought of serving food on a radio. Their way of poking fun at food fads.

Hot Oysters on the Radio

Serves 4

12 big, meaty oysters
Coarse salt for partially filling pan
4 slices bacon, finely diced
¼ cup (120 g) peeled and finely diced small potatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
1⁄3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream (35 percent butterfat)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
¼ cup (30 g) finely grated aged Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
¼ cup (30 g) dried bread crumbs
¼ cup (55 g) unsalted butter, cut into 12 equal pieces


Hot_Oysters_on_the_Radio (2)


1. Shuck the oysters, pouring the liquor into a cup and keeping the oysters on their bottom shells. Set the oysters and liquor aside. A good trick for cooking the oysters is to fill a big cast-iron frying pan about half full with coarse salt,put it in the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), then heat the pan for an extra 15 minutes. This will help to accelerate the cooking process.

2. Place the potatoes and salted water to cover in a small pot over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Drain the potatoes, let cool, and pat dry. Meanwhile, in another frying pan, crisp the bacon over medium-high heat until light brown. Add the potatoes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat.

3. In a bowl, rapidly whisk together the egg yolks, the cream, and whatever oyster liquor you were able to gather. Add the chives, Cheddar, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and the bacon-potato mixture and whisk to mix. Divide evenly among the oysters, spooning it on top. Dust the tops with the bread crumbs, then finish with a piece of butter.

4. Pull the cast-iron pan out of the oven and carefully nest the oysters in the hot salt. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 4 to 7 minutes, or until the tops start to turn golden. Serve immediately.

(“Reprinted with permission from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef by Fredéric Morin, David McMillan & Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.” Photo credit: Jennifer May © 2011)

Love Will Tear Us Apart, Celluloid Heroes Version, Japan Society Film Festival, NY, March 2-18

Not wanting to spoil anyone's Valentine's Day, the Japan Society scheduled its 6th Globus Film Series titled Love Will Tear Us Apart from March 2 to March 18, 2012.

What do you get?

"Bad romance, blind love, amour fou! This spring, we screen a series of twisted, obsessive, heart-blazing love stories from Japan and Korea, because, after all, it takes two to tango and at least two to tumble. The 20+ film lineup, mostly from the past decade, includes the U.S. premiere of Shinya Tsukamoto's latest film, KOTOKO, and the world premiere of Koji Wakamatsu’s Petrel Hotel Blue, as well as Hirokazu Kore'eda's Air Doll, Nagisa Oshima's arch-classic In the Realm of the Senses, Yukio Ninagawa's Snakes and Earrings, Lee Sang-il's Villain, Lee Chang-dong's Oasis, and Kim Ki-duk's Bad Guy, among other twisted tales. The complex relationship between Korea and Japan provides a fascinating coupling of national cinematic identities. Although both Japanese and Korean films and filmmakers demonstrate their own unique preoccupations, narrative traditions, structures and cultural sensibilities, a considerable amount of shared ground leads directly to unique avenues of artistic collaboration (Korean actress Bae Doo-Na and director Hirokazu Kore'eda, Kim Ki-duk and Joe Odagiri), ultimately revealing a similar visual grammar and inclination towards the emotional violence that flows beneath the quiet surface of societal restraints."


Non Japanese entries include Vegetarian (South Korea):

"Ominous dreams haunt and drive a young woman to abolish meat from her diet and her household, and even reject her husband, who smells of meat. Her family mistakes her sudden fixation for insolence, and she soon grows despondent, alienating herself from everyone. Her sister tries to reach her, but only her brother-in-law, an artist, manages to penetrate her withdrawn state. Her mysterious trauma ignites creativity and desire in him, and they collaborate passionately on beautiful body-painting art--drawing on her psychological pain but also providing the catalyst for a mystical sexual transformation."

Visions of love and film obsessions on menu of Tokyo Thursdays # 223

Previously: Kibo celebrates Food and Spirit of People of Tohoku One Year After the Earthquake

(* Image from 'Vegetarian' above from Japan Society event pages) 

F***ing Dinner Duos, A Planet of Chefs for Paris Stop of Omnivore World Tour, March 11-13

David Chang gets credit (blame) for title, F***ing Dinners, given to chefs duo for Omnivore World Tour stop in Paris (March 11-13).

I like the 'in transit' quality of James Henry accueille (welcomes) Ignacio Mattos (Isa, New York).

Here's how Omnivore introduces their duo:

"2 young chefs still little known, Ignacio Mattos, an Uruguayan who settled in Brooklyn and James Henry, an Australian who currently calls the East of Paris home, 2 expats who are not afraid to take risks, a must see."

Their encounter will take place at Au Passage a wine bar located 1 bis passage Saint-Sébastien, Paris 11e.


Organizers were kind enough to invite me to join them in Paris during the event. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be able to escape New York for 4 days. 

(* The 'Omnivore' site and most of the 'Omnivore World Tour' program are in French only)

Ginger and Spice, The des Amants, Lovers Tea for Valentine's Day 2012

You get ginger and spice, apples and vanilla, cinnamon too when you treat yourself to The des Amants ('Lovers Tea'), a special created by Le Palais des Thes for a Valentine's Day filled with love.

Aurelie Bessiere of Le Palais des Thés recommends pairing this tea with desserts or afternoon tea time oods such as Chocolate Fondant, Apple Crumble with nuts, or apple cinnamon muffins (for afternoon tea).

Since with the apple and vanilla the tea has a naturally sweet profile she doesn't recommend pairing it with savory dishes.

In the Mood for Love, Toast Valentine's Day with Sweet and Sour Shochu Based Koishisou

In the mood for love, toast Valentine's day with Koishisou, a sweet and sour Shochu based liqueur.

I had my first taste of it while doing the rounds of Shochu producers at Experience Shochu in New York, last night.

This Shochu liqueur by Sengetsu Shozu of Hitoyoshi-City starts with an authentic Shochu base. It gets its red color from natural pigment extract from Japanese red basil (Shiso).


Koishisou means 'I'm in the mood for love' and producer suggests that its delicate red color reminds you of a girl slightly flushed in a sign of love.

No artificial colors, aromas or preservative agents are used.

Love Her Madly, on Valentine's Day Say it With Iced Cookies

Love her madly, on Valentine's Day, say it with iced cookies like these in recipe from Biscuiteers Book of Iced Cookies (Kyle Books, 2011) by Harriett Hastings and Sarah Moore 

I love you madly

This simple-to-ice collection of cookies has been designed to make messy icing look good. They are perfect to have some fun with and send a romantic message at the same time. Write “I LOVE YOU”—
in a mad fashion... and you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day!

the instructions are simple...

Squeeze squiggles of line icing all over the letters and hearts just like wiggly spaghetti. * Vary the order in which you add the colors if you like and add little baubles if you want some sparkle. For a more sophisticated look, ice an outline, flood, and dry before icing madly.




letters (in any size you like)


1 quantity lemon flavored Plain Cookie dough (see page 33);
makes approx. 16 cookies

1 quantity Basic Royal Icing see page 21)

line icing

pea green
Aegean blue


colored baubles

(* Image and Excerpt from Biscuiteers Book of Iced Cookies byHarriet Hastings and Sarah Moore-Kyle Books, U.S publication, August 2011- all rights reserved)

For a Fleeting Moment, 1967 Spinola Barolo Was Still Alive

I helped serve a quintet of bon vivants earlier this week.

They selected 6 wines to go with their meal.

The Laurent Perrier Rose came first to toast the evening.

Second wine came with a question mark?

Is there still life in it?

We tasted the 1967 Spinola Barolo shortly before dinner.

Spinola 1967

For a fleeting moment, 1967 Spinola Barolo was still alive, then it was gone.

Tantric Lovers Art Print, Art Prints as Valentine's Day Presents via Idea Generation Gallery

Besides roses, chocolate, champagne and dinner for two, art prints could be a fresh gift idea for Valentine's Day.

One source worth considering is Idea Generation Gallery (London) which offers prints of art and photos from its past shows via their Culture Label online shop.

Amongst them is Tantric Lovers (part of it below) by Nigel Waymouth (June 1967), £240.00.


This piece is part of a 100 signed-numbered run.

Early morning-late night lovers are stars of 5am Alexander Palace, 1964 (John 'Hoppy' Hopkins), £75.00

The larger Culture Label catalogue offers other Valentine Day Themed items at all prices (not all to my taste).

For macaroon fans, there is Mr. Raccoon Loves a Macaroon plate, hand drawn by Jimbobart, £25.00

(* Tantric Lovers image and print © Hapshash and the Coloured Coat , all rights reserved)

Toast to Geography, On 46 Parallel with Il Colle Cuvee 46 Parallel Prosecco Brut

Geography obviously has its place in wine history and also each wine region distinct flavors.

At Italian Wine Masters 2012 tasting in New York (February 7), Il Colle, a producer from San Pietro di Feletto (Treviso), stated their geographic location with their Cuvee 46 Parallel Prosecco Superiore Docg Spumante Brut (Vintage 2010).

"The parallel circle 46° winds all around the Earth until it cross over the sunny hills of Conegliano - Valdobbiadene and it pauses among the vineyards captured by colours and perfumes unknown."


46 parallel


Their representative, Elisa Lucchese (pictured above), suggests it as the perfect aperitif, scents of pears and apples.

Each bottle is numbered. 10,000 were made.

Kibo celebrates Food and Spirit of People of Tohoku One Year After the Earthquake

After first shock and aftershocks of the earthquake that hit the Tohoku region in March 2011 subsided, Elizabeth Andoh decided to pay tribute to food, traditions and spirit of the people of Tohoku.

The result of her work is and e-book titled Kibo 'Brimming with Hope' to be published by Ten Speed Press on February 28, 2012.

In an interview on NPR's All Things Considered (February 9, 2012) she also said that she wanted to document recipes of the region as in moments of chaos, some ancient recipes and tradition tend to fall into oblivion.


The Tohoku region is known as an important Sake and Miso producer.

With that in mind, alongside recipes, Elizabeth Andoh included Sake pairing suggestions.

A share of the profits from Kibo will go to a fund helping people from Tohoku recover.

In case you missed it, you may want to read the Kansha Kitchen Conversation i had with Elizabeth Andoh in October 2010.

Food and the human spirit headline Tokyo Thursdays # 222

Previously: Umeshu and Shoshu Liqueur Filled Chocolates for a Japanese Valentine's Day